Emails to a Young Entrepreneur: Paying it Forward

Day 134 of Self Quarantine             Covid 19 Deaths in U.S.:  148,000

Paying it Forward – Email from Mikhail

Dear Entrepreneur Skip,

The last year was a whirlwind. I hope you saw the good news that we sold our company recently. We really appreciate your guidance throughout our entrepreneurial journey. In the end game, your deep wisdom on Valuation Capture and your strong recommendation to really understand Basil Peters Early Exits was invaluable for deciding to sell the company now at 10X of our revenue.

I really appreciated the many ways you used the flipping perspective exercise. Whenever I found myself feeling lost, I would do the exercise with the theme of what was bothering me.

I want to share one of the many letters that I’ve received since the sale of our company was announced.

Dear Mikhail,

I was excited to see that you recently sold your company after just a year. I am impressed with your quick success. How did you do it?

I would love to learn how you accomplished your rapid path from idea to exit. I’ve got a great idea for a new patent analytics tool that builds on the work of the Russian patent examiner, Genrich Altshuller, who developed TRIZ, the theory of inventive problem solving.

Can you be my mentor for becoming an entrepreneur to build my product and make it a success in the market?


Boris Polyakovsky

I’ve met with Boris and several of the other entrepreneurs who’ve reached out to me. I find myself either sharing the steps (our formula) we went through with our startup or worse – acting like an Entrepreneur Assassin – by disparaging their incredibly naïve business and product plans.

How were you able to be patient with me and never disparage my ideas?

Everybody wants to know my secret. They kind of roll their eyes when I share that I needed to discover, develop and trust my inner guidance system – my inner entrepreneur North Star.

I need to go back and re-read your emails but this time from the point of view of a mentor paying it forward rather than an entrepreneur. Is it OK if I pass on your emails to Boris and other young Russian entrepreneurs?

Yours in entrepreneuring,




You can find a PDF of the full Preface, Forward, and Chapters 1 – 10 here.

You can find the introduction to the Cosmos of the New Venture here.

This entry was posted in Content with Context, Emails to a Young Entrepreneur, Entrepreneuring, Flipped Perspective, Learning. Bookmark the permalink.

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